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THE AMTI-UNJ 



Price aD. 



SATURDAY, FEBRUARY i6, 1799. 



No. XXIII. 



TO THE 



MHABlTAMS OF ULSTER. 



Vir bonus et fapiens atidebit 'dicerc -» 

-quid-mcpcrfenv patique 



indignum'cogis J 



I 



. .N the queftion of an incorporated fegiflative Union' 
with Great Britain,- there is not any part of the king- 
dom vvhofe inhabitants are more capable of judging of 
the expediency of fuch a meafure, nor any more inle- 
refted in its event than thofe whom I addrefs': : Your 
education and habits give you the capability of forming 
a well founded opinion as to its effect ': Your exelufive 
poitefllon of that manufacture, by means of which Ire- 
land has attained" its prefent confequerice and wealthy 
gives you a greater ftake in the ilTue of the. conteft than 
any other part of the kingdom has ;" an awful time ap- 
pro aches> when you muft fpeak to be heard, or for 
ever elbfe your mouths upon the fubject : The queftion, 
if once carried,, is, in its nature, irrevocable ; and 
when determined, concludes not only yourfelves, but 
your pofterity for ever. 

The author of a pamphlet, which is, faid to be {auc- 
tioned by ouivadminiftration, fays — " The queftion of 
forming an Union between two countries muft never be 
confufed with ihe fub'jeflion of one country to another y- 
the latter is fuppofed to be the refuit of force, the for- 
mer of confent ; the one is never to be fubmitted to but 
from nee'effity, the other may be the object of choice;- 
if" therefore this is a queftion of Union, and not of fuhjec- 
tiotty and if it is not to be impofed by force on the one 
hand, and fubmitted to of necefpty on the other, but that 
our confent and choice' is to have any weight in deter- 
mining the matter, our real fentiments ought to appear ; 
they fhould be expreffed honeftly and openly, that at 
leaftour confent may not be inferred from our filence. 

The^great ftaple of your Province is the Linen Manu- 
facture, and (fo far as provincial considerations fhould 
guide you upon a national queftion) ought to be the foun- 
dation of your opinion. In the improved and flourifh- 
ing ftate of that Manufacture which you have witneflcd 
and its incalculable increafe both in quantity and price 
within thefe Iaft ten years, a thinking man will natural- 



ly be lfd to confider how this great'national chancre is 
likely to affect - a manufacture fo extenfive and fo im- 
proving. What further advantages it offers to the ma- 
nufacturer, and what future contingencies are to repay 
him for the prefent certainty which he relinquilhes — 
thefe ought to be; well weighed, -and fomething more 
than fpeculation (hould be required to induce you to 
give up that conftitutton under which you have become 
profperous- and wealthy; all we have to hope fori?, 
that our manufacture will not be put upon a worfe efta- 
blifhfnent than it Hands at prefent— for it is very re- 
markable, that in the, pamphlet before allud-'d. to, -in 
which nothing' is left undone which unprincipled arti- 
fice'ean fuggeft-, to perfuade this nation of the benefits 
of an Union, where advantages are held out to the 
fouth and to the weft of Ireland, whilft Conk, Water- 
ford and Limerick 'are feverally promifed ericreafed trade 
and manufacture— the author has not had fufneient ef- 
frontery to tell the north that it can be benefited by the 
meafure : But he tells you that Irifh linens have at pre- 
fent a preference in the Britifh market ; that" thefe 
advantages in' favor of [the north of Ireland England 
might repeak- or diminifh whenever' file pteafes ; by an 
Union they might be fixed for ever ;" inftead of -holding 
out future advantagesto arife to you in confequence of it, 
he fuggerts the deprivation of benefits which you pof- 
fefs ; unable to find arguments to induce your compliance, 
he has recouife to t denunciation and threat to prevent your 
refiftance. Whether this argument applies to the confent 
which" is neceffary to an Union, -or to the force which 
constitutes fubjectidn,and ought never to be fubmitted 
to but of necefiity,' the author ought to have informed 
us: But how are thefe advantages to be " fixed for ever 
by an Union ?" We have feen among the heads of the 
Union as publifhed in our newfpapers - , that the linen, 
manufacture us to be protected and fecured upon its 
prefent footing— -but what fecurity have we thai- this or 
any other article will be adhered to; that they, will not 
be altered or fubverted in ten or twenty years,, «vhi]ft 
the -proteftfng voice of our/ hunured exiled r^rrefen- 
tatives (fuppofing them all honeft and faithful) is drown- 
ed amid the acclamation of Britifh majority ,in;the ym- 
perialparliament, impelled'by Englifh prejudice, '-..and 
encouraged by Englifh minifterial .Jnflu? ^\ . ;B<, iievs 
me,, national honor means nothing more ;'.;.:i national 
iritereft- — that there is no inftance in which ' ; :v 'have 
joftled, where the former has not fallen bei r r t*e"' 'af- 
ter; and that even the name of honor nevtr outlives 
the hour when intereft calls for its forfeiture. 



The only chance we have of efcaping this national 
calamity is by exprefling our decided- deteftation of it ;— 



88 



I-will not believe that the Bririfh minifter will be fo 
weak and wicked as lo perfift in forcing fuch a meafure 
upon up, if it is contrary to the willies and confent of 
the nation ; but if he fhould be fo unprincipled, do not 
fubmit to the degradation of having a fubje&ion forced 
upon you under the name of an Union, or beneccfla- 
taied to beg for what we deleft and abhor. It isa'duty 
which we ;owe to ourfelves, and our. -.country, to let our 
fentiments be publicly known — It is a duty which we 
owe to our poflerity to refill a meafure by which we 
fo.w the feeds of future rebellions, and unnaturally be- 
queath the IiarveTt to our children : Impoverifhed, taxed, 
and opprefied they will fay, the confent of our fathers 
never was obtained to this deftriictive meafure — They 
Were taken by furprrze,st the end (if I may venture to 
call this the end). of a cruel and favage rebellion — They 
were terrified into this Union which depopulates our 
country. In my opinion, one of the ftrongeft argu- 
ments againft fhe^Union is, thatthe time when it was 
propofed, and the expedition with which it was carried, 
will afford to our. children a reafon why they fhould free 
themfelves from the fhackles thus forced upon us: They 
will feize the firft moment of Britifh diftrefsto tear them 
off, and reafferf their independence — they will awake 
from their dream, and I tremble for the event of their 
^awaking ! 

But for ourfelves a more efficacious and lefs dange- 
rous method is open: Let the voice of the nation'be 
heard upon the queftion — If that agrees in thinking this 
an oppreflive and ill-timed innovation, it may yet be 
prevented— ft v/ifl not be forced upon you, your Sove- 
reign never will be uhjuft to you — Or if a majority of 
the people of Ireland mould approve of an Union, whate- 
ver the fentiments of individuals may be, they muff yield 
to the opinion of that majority. The Union will then 
come to us more gracioufly, becaufe our opinion has 
been taken, our confent obtained — our children will 
then lofe the idea of revenge for ah opprtffion in calm 
fubminion: they will learn refignation in the belief, that 
when we confented to the meafure, ourLjntention was 
good, and we had only rniftaken the means of making 
them happy. Thus, and no other wife, can England 
expect a firm and laflirig Union. 

The only conftitutional method of. procuring the fen- 
timents of the nation, upon any political fubject, is by 
meetings of freeholders and freemen in the different 
counties and cities : This ought to be immediately and 
univerfally adopted. It is peculiarly neceffary and ufe- 
ful in your province,- where freeholders are poffefTed "of 
information, to form an opinion, and independence to 
fpeak it aloud:' Require your Sheriffs in your different 
counties to convene county meetings for the purpofe of 
confidering this queftion, and tranfmitting your opinions 
to your different reprefentatives: fuch every flieriff 
ought, every honeft fheriff will attend to, and. .comply 
with ;-^but fhould there be any one ignorant or corrupt 



enough to refufe, you may as legally afTerrible without 
his interference, as has been very fully -'fliewii to you by 
incontroverfable argument in the feventh number of 'this 
paper. It is the conftitutional and unalianaole right of 
freeholders to affemble for the purpofe of inftructing 
their reprefentatives ; and on fuch a queftion as this it iV-in- 
difputably the duty of reprefentatives to receive, and to 
obey the inftructions of their conftituents : ' I fay, on 
fuch a queftion as this, which has for its object to wreft 
from you for ever that right which you have entrufted 
into the hands of your prefent reprefentatives for a li- 
mi'ed time — when that truftee in -whom. you have in- 
verted your deareft pofflfHon for a time, is going to re- 
fign it for ever to a ftranger without your confent, and 
contrary to your with : caution him not to do fo — tell 
him that he betrays his triift if he does" — inflruct him. by 
giving nimyouropinion, the, opinion of fuch men muff: 
and will have weight: — Roufe yourfelves then ! the 
crifis of your fever is paftl— a laffitude and langour has 
fueceeded, but (hake it off, and your nerves will reaf- 
fume their accuftomed tone. To be-.filerit when your 
deareft rights are invaded is an' unpardonable apathy— 
Choofe, the fide of this momentous queftion which' you 
approve, but having done fo, fpeak out boldly — Let the 
law of Scilon be placed before the eyes, and treafured 
in the breaft of every one of you, that when the liberty 
of your country is in danger, the man who remains 
neuter, defervesto be infamous 

AN ULSTER MAN. 



A PROPHETIC FRAGMENT. 



A: 



He Itemed 
Tar dignity cnmpofedTid high exploit, 
But all was fuii'e and .hollow. 



ND in thofe days there' fhatl appear a youth, tall 
of flaturc and not of ungoodly appearance, who will 
derive his birth from one country, his religion from 
another, and his politics from a third — and he will offer 
liimfelf a candidate to reprefent a great and refpectable 
province in the kingdom where he- was born — and he 
Will declare even before his beard is grown, that the firft 
object of his ambition is to be returned for it — and he 
wiTI tell openly that he will pay all due deference to the 
opinions of .his conftituents,. and to the dictates of his 
own confeience, and all the people will wonder exceed- 
ingly, and many of them will believe him — and he will 
go to the firft great meeting of the Northern Whigs in 
the town ycleped Belfaft, and he will entreat to be en- 
i>IIed a member of their body, and he will fign with his 
own hand all their papers :